Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Heads Will Roll

Hereditary (2018) - Aster
Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 9.34.25 AM
Grief has been a common theme in horror movies for a long time. Lately, it's been the loss of a child as 'the worst thing that could happen to a family'. It's become so goddamn pervasive, I've grown to avoid films that deal with it whenever I read synopses while browsing. Hereditary, like many of recent horrors, stabs at this theme and twists until it bleeds for the sake of a scare or two, leaving very bad taste in my mouth. One should ask actors involved in the project - why did you sign up for this when there is no empathy written for your characters whatsoever, that they are tools to be dispensed to support the flimsy ending? Cold and sadistic, Hereditary recalls the brutality of Ben Wheatley's Kill List. Well let me correct that: Kill List's characters are driven, have a confidence in themselves but get thwarted unexpectedly. The characters here are blubbering mess the whole time, like crying babes in the woods ready to be preyed on.

There are elements of Hereditary that would make a dozen features. Ari Aster, however technically apt he is at filmmaking, sacrifices these narrative and emotional potentials for the end that doesn't deserve them. There are so many questions one could ask - why the miniature artist? Why does she look funny? Why is he so timid? Why the sudden point of view change and what does that signify? In fact, is this a family? Where is a shred of indication of that? Its scares are built upon sadism and hollow, grotesque images. Then again, it's a horror movie. So who needs an emotional depth? Very disappointing.